election 2022


John Divinski

It’s time for Saugeen Shores to continue to move forward in development; infrastructure and improved services for its residents.

My name is John Divinski. I’m a former broadcaster/news reporter/talk show host for Bayshore Broadcasting (98 the Beach and 97.9 the Bruce) and I am one of two acclaimed candidates for Southampton Ward. It’s been a strange ride, albeit a rewarding one, since November, 2021. It was then I was appointed to council to fill a vacant seat and then to find myself acclaimed in this municipal election.

I can tell you being acclaimed does not mean a free ride. There is lots to do and I plan to show constituents letting me serve for another four years is no mistake.

Some of the issues ahead of us include the continuing development of Saugeen Shores but it should be controlled development with an eye to protecting the environment along the way. Some of the issues involve looking at the municipality as a whole but I will continue to look out for Southampton Ward residents first. I have done that since being appointed to council—it was stated in my initial presentation to council—and it will continue in the future.

Another issue is to create more “affordable housing.” Affordable housing is not “attainable housing,” and we need more affordable housing to help those that are not blessed with a big salary, working primarily in the service industry. We hear of shops cutting back hours or closing down because of a lack of staff. I don’t believe there’s a huge labour shortage but a working population that simply can’t afford to travel to work or to live in a community that is offering the work. Affordable housing could help change that environment.

In Southampton Ward, I want to see the downtown area become this unique spot for shoppers and tourists alike. As you may be aware, the Southampton BIA, of which I am a member, is working very hard to bring a new look to downtown through a Streetscape project. Details of this program will be presented to BIA members, local residents and ultimately a presentation to town council. My wish list includes having this project done over the next several years.

In addition, I’ll be supporting a cultural hub in Southampton that takes in the Town Hall; the Southampton Public Library, the Art Gallery and a new live theatre facility.

Other priorities ahead include keeping the tax rate at a reasonable level. You notice I didn’t say no tax increase. The fact is inflation has hit us and like you, costs have gone up for the town as well. I’m sure everyone on council will do their best to keep the tax rate in check but not at the cost of cutting back town services for its residents. Providing services and then snatching them away, to me, is cruel. Yet with some careful planning, it doesn’t have to happen. It’s another goal.

There are no promises here other than to say I will work hard to achieve the goals that I have set out for myself.

A few points on my other connections in the community:

• Married to Rev. Ann Veyvara-Divinski who happens to serve on the Accessibility Committee for the municipality.
• Member of the Lamont Sports Park fundraising committee that has raised over $1 million for Phase 2 of the park in south Port Elgin.
• Board member and secretary of Bruce Condominium Corporation #6.
• Former member of Port Elgin Rotary though work commitments would not allow continued association.
• First Honourary Chair of the Saugeen Memorial Hospital Foundation’s “Light the Way” campaign in 2016. During my tenure I created the one-day Radiothon on 98 the Beach which has subsequently raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
• Former WOAA minor hockey referee
• The “voice” of the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks of the WOAA Sr. AA league as PA announcer of all home games.
• Emcee of countless fundraising events in Saugeen Shores as well as moderator of many All-Candidates meetings in local, provincial, and federal elections.
• Council representative on the Southampton BIA board and on the Bruce Area Solid Waste Recycling (BASWR) committee.

My recurring theme is no different than those already serving on council. We want to serve the community and give back to a growing Saugeen Shores and in my case, a growing Southampton Ward. The ward has its own unique characteristics and many want those protected. As a full time resident of the ward, I’m ready to get down to work and give what it takes to achieve the goals already mentioned and many more to unfold, over the next four years.

The above was provided to Saugeen Shores Hub by John Divinski.